Study links sugary drinks to cancer

14 July, 2019, 13:41 | Author: Sherman Richardson
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Researcher, Mathilde Touvier told news reporters that sugary drinks are known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity, "but our research shows that sugary drinks may also increase the risk of cancer". The researchers also considered artificially-sweetened drinks, that is, "all beverages containing nonnutritive sweeteners, such as diet soft drinks, sugar-free syrups, and diet milk-based beverages".

The consumption of sugary drinks has increased worldwide during the last few decades and is convincingly associated with the risk of obesity, which in turn is recognised as a strong risk factor for many cancers, said researchers, including those from the University of Paris 13 in France.

Touvier said her team observed that sugar seemed to be the main driver of the link.

Drinking soda doesn't just threaten to make us fat, it could be linked to a higher risk of cancer, judging from a new study.

Currently, public health guidelines across most of the Western world recommend that people should not consume upward of one glass' worth of sugary drinks per day.

Responding to the study, the American Beverage Association stressed the safety of sugary drinks.

Its director general, Gavin Partington, added: "Soft drinks are safe to consume as part of a balanced diet". Beverage companies are working to provide more choices with reduced or no sugar, smaller package sizes and clear calorie information, according to the industry group.

The research found no link between diet beverages and cancer. The authors warned that this finding should be interpreted with caution, as this type of beverage had a relatively low consumption among the study participants.

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The study took into consideration upward of 100,000 adults' health outcomes, in which their physicians regularly asked them how much sugary drinks they consumed on a daily basis throughout the entirety of the data collection process.

To reach these conclusions, the nutritional epidemiology research team at Inserm followed the eating habits of more than 100,000 people for nine years (78% women and 21% men).

Using 24-hour online food questionnaires, the researchers assessed the participants' consumption of 3,300 different kinds of foods and drinks.

"The results indicate statistically significant correlations between the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and risk of all cancers combined, and of breast cancer", nutrition researcher and emeritus, Ian Johnson, said. Internationally, Mexico - which has one of the world's highest soda consumption rates - has an 8 cent per litre tax on soft drinks, while the United Kingdom has introduced taxes on soft drinks containing more than 5 grams of sugar per 100ml. The study adjusted for sex, age, fitness level, educational level, and any other dietary patterns that could be playing a role. The average age at cancer diagnosis was 58.5.

A French study's found drinking large amounts of fruit juice may increase your risk of developing cancer.

However, this study is observational and doesn't show cause and effect.

"While this study doesn't offer a definitive causative answer about sugar and cancer, it does add to the overall picture of the importance of the current drive to reduce our sugar intake", said Dr Amelia Lake, from Teesside University.

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